Purity - 9/17/2009 - Ramon Gandia (v6)
CENTENNIAL PARK, Atlanta, GA
The girls laughed and squealed with delight as the ball bounced between them. The terrier barked and tried to intercept the ball as it went by him. It was a game of speed vs brain, and it was too close to call.
At the edge of the park field, a black town car pulled up, and a priest got out. His tall frame covering the distance to the girls in but a few steps.
"Excuse me," he called to the group, "I am looking for Danielle."
"That's me!" replied the fifth grader.
"Come here," said the priest, and led her aside. "The diocese sent me. I have some bad news for you. Your mother was involved in a bad car accident and they want you to come to St. Joseph's hospital. Danielle, it's bad."
The agitated girl told her friends, grabbed her backpack and got into the limo. Her classmates never saw her again. Oh, the police found the limo easily enough, but the hired driver knew nothing other than he had been hired over the phone to pick up a priest at the church. Except, that no such priest worked there.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
No one spoke english, and Danielle learned arabic the hard way, from the other girls housed there. With her blond hair and pale skin, she was a sharp contrast to the other dusky arab girls. Older women guarded them, and it was rumored that they would become a concubines for some arab sheik. Danielle, in particular, would fetch a nice price due to her exotic good looks.
She had been abducted into the lucrative sex slave trade. Technically illegal in the Emirates, the practice flourished behind closed doors. Older, nasty minded women checked on her to make sure she remained virgin, for this was particularly valuable. Today she would be sold to the highest bidder. She was terrified, but her tears and cries had been beaten out of her.
Soon, she was forcibly disrobed and led into a tobacco smoke filled room. Men in neat, colorful robes milled around eying and fondling the merchandise. In turn, Danielle was brought to the dais, and the auctioneer commenced:
"We have here a blonde American girl, virgin. An infidel. We open at 100,000 Dirhams. Anyone?" And the bidding started, the price climbing quickly. Eventually she fetched a handsome price. The winner, an older and overweight Arab moved towards the girl. "You can check her virginity," stated the auctioneer. And the man used his fingers to verify his buy.
Later that day she was taken to a large home, and that very night the abuse started. As a concubine, her 'turn' did not come very often, but when it did, it was bad and painful. The man was a sadist and not only delighted in rough sex with her, but also enjoyed causing her pain.
In a few years he tired of her, and for a lot less than he had paid, he sold her off into a brothel as a sex slave.
If things had been bad for Danielle at the sheik's home, this place portended to be much worse. The other girls there told her that she ordinarily would have several customers each night. And it was not long before it started.
Outside the door she could hear muttering. Her first consort was about to come in. The door opened, but instead of a man, she saw a luminescent mist come in and block all view of the door. From this mist an Angel emerged, and came to her cribside.
"Hello," the Angel said, "Do not be afraid. Come with me."
Speechless, Danielle followed. The Angel led her out of her room, down the hallway and to the outside door. No one was in sight in this otherwise busy place. The Angel opened the door and led her outside.
Rather than evening, it was morning sunlight outside. They were at the edge of an open, green and lush meadow. Beautiful flowers dotted the knee high grass, in every color of the rainbow. Butterflies and honeybees flitted among the flowers, and the sweet scent of the blossoms filled the air.
"You can call me David," said the Angel, and he led her to a clear brook. There Danielle laved with the water and was purified. Fish playfully swam around her bare feet. Some were silver, some red or blue, and none were afraid of Danielle.
At the end of the day, Danielle was led back to her room. She was dimly aware of the abuse, but could not remember any specific details. All that she could recall was her walk with the Angel David.
In the cribs, horrors of abuse and cruelty were heaped on Danielle. Fatima, the friendly Arab girl that shared her fate, had vanished and it was rumored that she had been slain.
Each day, at the start of her 'shift', David would appear and led her outside to the fields.
"These are the Elysian Fields," said he. "I love to come here and I hope you like it too."
"Its beautiful," she replied, "I had no idea."
And as the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months, and the months into years, decades; Danielle went out with David each and every day. She made friends with all the animals, and wandered the fields, the streams, forests and meadows that surrounded her. She bonded with all the animals and got to know each one by name and spoke with them.
Chirpy the bluejay would tell her of what he had seen when soaring over the countryside. Brownie the squirrel, more practical, would relate of the nuts that he was gathering and hoarding, while Fluffy the fox would boast of her hunts, her kits and and being able to run fast and free in the grass.
While she conversed with the animals, butterflies would land on her hands and show her tiny smiles. David would talk with her about myriad subjects. "Purity is in the heart," he told her, "and not in the body."
But when she returned to the building, she knew ... just knew and felt what was happening; her pains, aches and bruises needed no explanation.
And as the years passed and her beauty faded, she was sold off for less and less money to a lower and lower class of brothels. Eventually she was but a shell of the former Danielle, and her body felt the pain and sickness of the material world. Yet, each night, she only experienced David's company and their walks into the Elysian Fields.
One night there was much commotion and ado in the hallway outside. The door burst open and instead of the mist, a group of British soldiers came in. "We heard there was an American woman here," said the leader. "Here, put these clothes on and come with us. You are going home!" Danielle could barely understand them, for the last time she had heard English spoken had been over thirty years ago, when she was but a girl.
NEW YORK CITY, New York
She ended up in New York. She could not remember her last name, and her family and hometown could not be determined. Thus she was placed in a charity hostel. At first, Danielle tried to befriend some people, even men. But she felt dirty, sullied, violated and unclean and could not form any attachments.
Perhaps it was just as well, because not long after, she was diagnosed with an incurable sexual disease, contracted somewhere back in Arabia. Her AIDS was in the last stages, and her body wasted away. When she was too weak, she was admitted to a hospice to finish out her days.
This was not a fancy place, but the kind people that had footed her bills after her rescue paid for a bit better accommodation than most. Every day an orderly would come into her room and tidy up; perhaps help her into a wheelchair, or clean her up, or take her to the bathroom.
As she laid there dying, she knew her final day was but upon her.
That morning the orderly came in. "Hello," he said, "rise and shine! I am here to get you to take a wheelchair stroll outside."
"I can't, said Danielle, " I am too weak and sick. Just leave me alone."
"Nonsense. Its nice outside. Just make the effort." And he smiled at her one of his irresistible smiles. So she gave in, and allowed him to place her on the wheelchair.
The orderly wheeled her into the elevator, and out the door into the small garden in back of the hospice. He pushed her to the outside gate, and told her "get up, I want to show you something."
With effort, Danielle wobbled to her feet, and the orderly opened the gate for her and she took a few tentative steps. On the other side was not dirty, busy, noisy New York, but a beautiful green field. The field looked very familiar. She also found she could walk better, and she went a little ways. She looked around and there were beautiful flowers all around, with honeybees and butterflies. And once again, the sweet scent of the blossoms filled the air.
She walked further and got to a little brook. A light mist blurred the waters and the landscape beyond. She could just make out the friendly fish. On the other side she could discern an even more beautiful meadow and majestic mountains. Familiar animals expected her.
"Look," she said, pointing yonder. "Look how beautiful it is over there!"
And the Angel took her by the hand and led her across to the other side.
Story Copyright © 2009, Ramon Gandia